Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle manufacturer, Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS), has unveiled its hydrogen commercial vehicle which it claims can cover 500km.
Showcasing its hydrogen powertrain in the form of a 5.5-tonne technology demonstrator, HVS offers a hint to its planned 40-tonne zero-emission HGV, fulfilling the company’s objective of being the first indigenous UK designed and developed hydrogen-electric HGV on the market.
Founded in 2017, in Glasgow, HVS focuses on the ground-up design and development of zero-emission hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles. The company has a defined route to market.
In addition to funding from Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise and Energy Technology Partnership, HVS’ strategic investment partner is the service station and grocery corporation, EG Group, offering hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, fleet customer base and the potential for global scalability.
“This technology demonstrator showcases our ground-breaking hydrogen-electric commercial vehicle design and advanced powertrain technology, a precursor to our HGV model,” said HVS CEO Jawad Khursheed.
He added that the truck is fuelled by close-coupled green hydrogen – hydrogen produced directly by renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind or solar. “Hydrogen is the perfect fuel for the haulage industry, offering long ranges and quick refuelling thanks to stations easily integrated into key transport networks,” he said.
“What’s more, we will supply our customers with the most advanced HGV in the sector delivering a step change in driving experience, lowest total cost of ownership and market-leading fleet management support.”
HVS tractor units will be built on an all-new chassis, designed in-house around the hydrogen powertrain, which consists of pressurised hydrogen cylinders, fuel cells, energy storage system and eAxle.
Designed by Pete Clarke, Head of Design, the company claims it has innovations in packaging, performance, efficiency, weight, range, consumption, maintenance, and lifecycle benefits. The technology demonstrator’s design allows significantly improved aerodynamics compared with current ICE trucks, which brings enhanced fuel efficiency on long-haul runs and improved spatial ergonomics within the cab, including better access and more room at the controls.
HVS’ vehicle powertrain employs a fuel cell system and energy storage system to deploy electricity to an electric motor to transmit power to the wheels. It uses the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) to recapture energy under braking and while the truck is slowing down.
The integrated powertrain is controlled with HVS’ advanced control system ‘SEMAS’ is an advanced control system (monitoring interactions between driver and control systems) in development, which the company plans will deliver fuel efficiency and durability that contributes to achieving a low cost of ownership comparable to that of current diesel-powered offerings in the market.
The fuel cell permits longer range, higher load-carrying capacity, and faster refuelling than would be possible using Lithium-Ion battery technology alone: typical refuelling time is comparable to diesel. It is in the long-distance HGV segment that hydrogen fuel cells offer the most advantages.
Depending on the journey – the route travelled, road conditions and driving style – HVS’ HGV has the capacity to cover in excess of 500km, the company claims.
Plans are in place for a left-hand drive variant of the hydrogen-fuelled 4×2 HGV tractor unit, with a rigid chassis model also in the pipeline.